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A Movie That Makes You Appreciate Life

Updated May 6, 2022
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A Movie That Makes You Appreciate Life essay

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It’s A Wonderful Life is a timeless story that teaches the lesson of redemption and a person’s importance to the world. It may have been filmed in 1946 but there are moments that any modern family can associate with. Although it wasn’t intended to be a Christmas movie, I believe most families do watch it together in the winter months and during the holiday season. It’s a Wonderful Life is an American romantic comedy that has elements of fantasy and drama as well. Frank Capra wrote and directed this movie based on a short story called “The Greatest Gift” that was written by Phillip Van Doren Stern in 1939 (2).

James Stuart stars in It’s a Wonderful Life as George Bailey, a man who never is able to carry out his dream of moving away from his small town of Bedford Falls. Instead, George ends up settling down with his childhood sweetheart Mary Hatch and beginning a family. He works at the family business called Bailey Brothers’ Building and Loan Association, which helps the poor town folk buy houses when they can’t afford a large purchase by themselves. Mr. Potter is the greedy banker in town. He would like nothing more than for George, along with the Building and Loan Association to close down their business, so he can take advantage of the low-income community in Bedford Falls (2).

When George’s forgetful Uncle Billy misplaces a large sum of cash during the holidays Potter thinks he may get his way after all. All hope seems lost, and Bailey loses heart. He ends up standing on a bridge (on Christmas Eve, no less) thinking his life isn’t worth living. That’s when an angel 2nd class named Clarence appears and shows George what his loved ones, town, and community would be like if he hadn’t had a part in their lives. It conveys the message that although life didn’t go the way he had hoped, George was still able to make a difference in people’s lives.

I believe It’s a Wonderful Life is a well written story, and has an exceptionally great cast. From the opening music, the viewers are pulled into the life of George Bailey. We root for him as he grows up, we laugh as he falls in love, and we feel the thrill when his sons and daughters are born. The movie contains slapstick humor, drama, and romance. As the movie progresses, it turns slightly more serious, as George loses hope drinks himself into a frenzy, and is ready to leap off the bridge and end his life. We can feel Bailey’s pain as he questions his reason for living. There are sillier moments within this movie such as when we meet Clarence, a heavenly messenger who was sent to prove to George that his life does have purpose. In doing this, Clarence will try to earn his wings and become a 1st class angel.

This film moves me because it makes I see that things could be way worse that what they current are and you need to see the positives in your life instead of all the negatives. To me this movie is very touching and spirit lifting. It touched my heart when George jumped into the ice-cold lake to save his little brother and as a result he ended up with hearing lost in one ear. I could relate to this because I would do that same for one of my siblings. I would recommend anyone to watch this film because it teaches the value of life. No matter how life may get you down keep the faith and continue to go on. Bailey’s friends and family had a lot of faith they continued to pray for him and that’s what saved his life.

This film is most often viewed during the holidays, and many families (including mine) have made it a Christmas tradition along with classics such as A Christmas Carol, White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis, Die Hard (thanks to my dad and brothers) and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. One of my favorite quotes from this film, is when George and Mary are walking home and talking about his dreams of the future and he says to her, “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary (1).” This very part of the film has appeared in other films such as Bruce Almighty (6). This popular movie in general has been shown in other films and TV shows such as Cheers, Gremlins, Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Roseanne, The Sopranos and Transformers (6).

Like the film Meet Me in St. Louis, it’s a Wonderful Life takes place in a small town also. I feel like in both movies the women had sass to them and fought back when the men did or said things they did not like. Both films had some inappropriate humor that would have been consider risqué for that time period, such as in Meet Me in St. Louis, young Tootie telling partying goers a joke about a drunk person to Mary in It’s a Wonderful Life being caught naked in a bush after her robe slips off by George (1,3). In a way both these films would be consider what we call now-a-days, romantic comedies. The main characters in these two films fell for the girl next door or the boy next door.

In conclusion, the movie was about the trials and tribulations of the main character, George Bailey, how he positively affected the lives of almost every person in the town of Bedford Falls and how he overcame obstacles throughout his life. It’s a Wonderful Life is a timeless classic that is relatable to us all. It’s a movie that can be watched countless times and still be enjoyed, as well we can apply to our modern struggle. Nonetheless, the essence of this movie is clear and shows that everything will be okay, even if you are in the darkest of times in your life. After all, it’s a wonderful life.

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A Movie That Makes You Appreciate Life. (2022, May 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-movie-that-makes-you-appreciate-life/

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